Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: The Devastatingly Deceptive Disease

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Although accreditation for this CE/CME activity has expired, and the posttest is no longer available, you can still read the full article.

Expires July 31, 2017

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease that often goes undiagnosed initially. Timely detection of SLE is important, because prompt treatment can prevent its many major complications—notably, end organ damage. Here’s how to distinguish SLE from other illnesses with similar presentations and how to recognize the complications of undiagnosed SLE, which can progress rapidly and fatally.



CE/CME No: CR-1608

Earn credit by reading this article and successfully completing the posttest and evaluation. Successful completion is defined as a cumulative score of at least 70% correct.

• Describe the pathophysiology and explain the various clinical manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
• Define the differential diagnosis for SLE.
• List the elements of the laboratory work-up used in the diagnosis of lupus.
• Describe the therapeutic options for patients with SLE.


Michael Felz is an Assistant Professor at Augusta University (formerly Georgia Regents University) in Augusta, Georgia. Mary Bailey Wickham is a PA student in her final year at Augusta University.
The authors have no financial relationships to disclose.


This program has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 1.0 hour of American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Category 1 CME credit by the Physician Assistant Review Panel. [NPs: Both ANCC and the AANP Certification Program recognize AAPA as an approved provider of Category 1 credit.] Approval is valid for one year from the issue date of August 2016.

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